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If the Pirates make no more moves, this is what their payroll breakdown will be. This helps us understand how much, if any, payroll flexibility the Pirates have.
A.J. Burnett: $16.5 million
Wandy Rodriguez: $13.5 million
Russell Martin: $8.5 million ($2 million signing bonus, $6.5 million salary in 2013)
Clint Barmes: $5.5 million
Andrew McCutchen: $4.5 million
Charlie Morton: $2 million
Jose Tabata: $1 million
Pedro Alvarez: $700,000
That’s a total of $52.2 million.
Arbitration-eligible players and projected salaries, using middle-of-the-road projections:
Joel Hanrahan: $7 million
Garrett Jones: $5 million
Neil Walker: $2.5 million
James McDonald: $2.5 million
Gaby Sanchez: $1.5 million
That’s a total of $18.5 million
That leaves 12 players on the active roster, making around $500,000 each, adding an extra $6 million.
Add in the final 15 players on the 40-man roster and you have another $1 million or so. That brings our grand total to roughly $77 million
When you take away money sent in trades from other teams -- $8.5 million from the Yankees and $5 million from the Astros – you get $64.2 million out of the Pirates’ pockets.
If the Pirates deal Hanrahan and/or Jones, they will clear a decent chunk of payroll. If they deal them both, that’s $12 million or so gone, bringing the Pirates’ commitment down to $52 million or so. The question then becomes, what do they do with that money?
The new league-wide MLB TV deal starts in 2014 and will pay out more to each of the teams through revenue sharing. Increased attendance has provided the Pirates with at least some additional flexibility, and the draft and international signing limits leave more money to be spent elsewhere.
This is meant as a reference, not as an argument that the Pirates should or will spend more. Payroll is a third rail with this team, and understandably so. It would appear that though arbitration will increase payroll a good deal, the team may have some room. We will find out more from Neal Huntington when we meet with him at 5:30 ET. If they clear payroll, it will be interesting to see what they do with it.
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